However, there’s the lockdown situation in Nigeria and other parts of the world. And this has caused the test organizing bodies to suspend the tests until further notice.
Only a few centers are currently holding the IELTS but with all necessary health measures to protect both the test takers and officials present.
What this means for prospective IELTS test takers is that preparation time is extended. It could also mean that the test dates are uncertain.
Do you have plans to take the IELTS test? In what ways is the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting your preparation for the test? Let’s talk about it.
Before you go, follow this link to get detailed information about the IELTS test dates in Nigeria. It’s a clear breakdown for the British Council and IDP centers in Nigeria.
How is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affecting your IELTS Test Preparation?
· Many Learners are Relaxed or Unmotivated
With the current IELTS suspension, many test takers seem relaxed about preparation. And they have every reason to. First, no one knows when the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis will become an old story.
Second, what are the chances that the IELTS test will still be needed for immigration or study purposes?
In my experience, many learners feel unwilling to continue preparing for the IELTS test. Some believe that the pressure to take the test is reduced. Besides, shouldn’t we all be more concerned about the present than the future we can’t see or even imagine?
Moreover, some IELTS test takers don’t have the motivation they once had. For instance, I teach doctors, nurses, and other persons in the healthcare line among others from other professions.
The report from some of them is that they’re too busy at the hospital. Others say that this is an opportunity to achieve other personal goals that they couldn’t achieve before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, some just don’t have the push to keep learning or practicing. These days seem gloomy and uncertain. Plus, it’s difficult to concentrate on writing an IELTS essay when the number of coronavirus cases and deaths keep going up.
· Most IELTS Tests around the World are on Hold
No questions, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put a great number of IELTS activities on hold. For one, the British Council had to announce the IELTS suspension on their website and Facebook page.
In fact, on this British Council page, you’ll find a lot of IELTS frequently asked questions relating to the current COVID-19 situation.
If you did book your IELTS test before the lockdown, chances are that you still haven’t taken action about it.
Send an email to this address to get more information about the IELTS test transfer or refund. And you should do this if you didn’t receive the email from them.
As for MOD/IDP Australia, you’ll find information on the suspended IELTS tests here.
The same goes for British Council Asia (Singapore). Likewise, you can visit the Cambridge International page for more details as they’re the organizing body, next to British Council and IDP Australia.
The IELTS suspension is definitely a great way to keep test takers safe. It’s indeed remarkable, nonetheless, that some tests are still ongoing.
For instance, in countries where the tests are still being held, these are the preventive measures in place:
- Reduced number of test takers in an examination room
- Physical distancing
- Use of face masks
- Wide spacing of desks
- Partitioning of CBT Rooms
- Disinfecting and deep cleansing test rooms before and after the tests.
· Some IELTS Trainers now Provide Free Training
One super impressive impact of the coronavirus on the IELTS test is the increased availability of free training. YouTube has always been a leading source of tutorials for IELTS especially for people who can’t take paid classes.
Some of the most reliable sources of IELTS online tutorials are IELTS Liz, FastTrack IELTS (with Asiya Miart), and IELTS Advantage (with Christopher Pell). Of course, these trainers have been training IELTS test takers long before COVID-19.
Nevertheless, I recommend them because their teaching methods are interactive, consistent, and enlightening above all.
Interestingly too, IELTS Advantage is currently organizing IELTS live Question and Answer Sessions on YouTube. Really impressive!
So, if you’re looking for free tutorials for IELTS, you can join in.
Apart from these options, you also have the free IELTS webinars organized by the British Council. They’ve been on since 31 March and they’ll end on 21 April.
Finally, you could take the Understanding IELTS courses available on FutureLearn. The Understanding IELTS Speaking course was recently concluded but you still have some time to access the training. The courses have been eye-opening for me.
On 16 April, the Understanding IELTS Reading course will commence. You can take advantage of this as well.
The bottom line – even though the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the IELTS tests, IELTS trainers are remaining proactive.
As an IELTS Instructor who has been offering both physical and virtual classes, I can continue my classes without hitches. My online classes have kept me and my learners busy pretty busy and productive.
· People have Doubts about the Canada Immigration
In the last two to three years, Canada has welcomed more immigrants than many other countries. And the beauty of the Canada immigration programs is that they are flexible as well as possible.
However, with the recent issues relating to COVID-19 and IELTS, some individuals have raised doubts about migrating to Canada.
Some of the questions include:
- Is migrating to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic an option?
- Will Canada keep issuing out ITAs?
- Should I still try to get into the Express Entry pool?
- Would IELTS still be a needed requirement for Canada immigration?
- Would the IRCC make entry into Canada a bit easier?
- Will Canada reduce the number of people who receive ITAs?
Irrespective of what your questions are, the best place to get reliable information is the IRCC website. There’s no better website to gather accurate facts.
Why raise this poin? With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the IELTS test, some think that the test will no longer be a requirement.
To save yourself any headaches of being defrauded by seemingly good people impersonating as agents or consultants, get your information from the ‘horse’s mouth.’
· Many IELTS Trainers and Instructors are Turning to Zoom and Skype
Another way the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the IELTS test is through the training platforms. As social distancing is the new code of interaction today, IELTS learners cannot meet their trainers physically.
This has, therefore, caused many IELTS trainers to maximize Zoom and Skype for teaching.
These video conferencing platforms are proving valuable for conducting classes and ensuring that learners stay educated about the IELTS during this period.
For example, with Zoom, I’ve been able to:
- Teach each component of the IELTS test systematically
- Assess my learners’ performance
- Refer to pages in the Cambridge IELTS practice books using the Share Screen option
- Conduct joint practice sessions during lessons
- Write text on the White Board using the Share Screen option
- Use the Google Chrome browser for further inquiry when necessary
- And record ongoing sessions
In essence, if you’re looking for ways to prepare for your IELTS test during this COVID-19 crisis, connect with IELTS trainers who are making the most of this period to reach learners far and wide.
· The IELTS Mock Test remains a Valuable Tool
Despite being the final point, online IELTS Mock tests are about the ‘saviors’ of the COVID-19 situation. Being able to prepare for your IELTS test with mock tests is a great way to have a feel of the actual test.
For one, the British Council offers free mock tests to potential IELTS test takers preparing for the computer-delivered tests. The aim is to help them get familiar with the test structure.
Whether you’re taking the paper-based test or computer-based version of the IELTS, the familiarization test is a great way to get started.
- 1 Mock test
- 3 Mock tests
- 5 Mock tests
The perks of taking the IELTS mock tests on takeIELTS.net is that you get:
- Examiner feedback
- Question by question analysis
- A test report with your band score
- Results are available in two days
- Speaking is also tested online (with recordings)
- Test format and timing is the same
- Opportunities to improve your band score for the actual IELTS test
At least three of my IELTS learners took the tests during their training with me. And it greatly boosted their eventual band score. If you use my coupon code (ABabalola) at the checkout, you would get a 25% discount, and I would get a small commission.
Other Issues Relating to IELTS and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Apart from the six issues you’ve read about so far, there are a few more things you need to know.
- If you took the test before the lockdown and need to check your IELTS test result, use this link to access the test taker portal.
- Some individuals think the IELTS test should henceforth be conducted online. Inasmuch as this might sound like a good idea, some experts and trainers believe that identification issues could be a concern. For instance, ascertaining the true identity of test takers (which is easy during physical tests) may be a challenge if IELTS tests now move online. Besides, the Speaking component of the test needs to be done in person.
- If you don’t feel like you can participate in an online IELTS tutorial right now, it’s totally fine. Don’t stress about it. The IELTS test requires concentration, time management, and reasoning. If you have kids, focusing on other serious activities may not really come easy. You can, however, educate your kids with the following activities. But if you just can’t stop thinking about how COVID-19 is going to affect your job, family or life in general, don’t take on more activities like preparing for the IELTS test.
- To take your IELTS with British Council, visit this page for more information.
Wrapping Up on the Impact of COVID-19 on the IELTS Test
If you had plans to take the IELTS test before or during this lockdown, I can imagine how you must feel. Plans are on hold, disrupted or unclear.
Nonetheless, remember that you’re not alone in this. And there’s always sunshine after rainfall. So, you can choose to prepare with free online tutorials or paid classes, or just suspend your IELTS preparation for the time being.
Whatever you choose, ensure that you’re home safe with your loved ones. Keep following the hygienic guidelines by CDC, NCDC, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In all, stay hopeful that new dates for the IELTS test will be announced after the COVID-19 pandemic. And you’ll be able to take your test and make progress with your study or immigration plans.